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by Fred McMillin
for September 2004

Wine

 

The History of Wine In 20 Bottles

"An exciting and fun tasting" was the opinion of my partner in wine, Edgar Vogt. Here are some of the highlights.

Man's first wine was made near the Black Sea from a Muscat grape, as far as we know. So we sipped this Muscat from near the Black Sea, which was chosen BEST BUY OF THE WHITE WINES: Balkan Hills Winery's Muscat, Bulgaria, 2002, $8. For outlets, phone Bulgarian Master Vintners, (707) 939-8719.

The Roman legions took the wine vine to nearly ALL of today's major viticultural regions in western Europe. Incredible! One of their early favorites was the town of Gigondas on the southern Rhone in France. So, 2000 years later we opened a Gigondas by Delas, a $13 red which my panel voted RECOMMENDED IN ITS PRICE RANGE. For outlets, phone Maisons M&D, (510) 286-2000.

European monks took over as the leading winemakers, replacing the Roman empire that was decaying in the 5th and 6th centuries, A.D. For example, white-robed Cistercian monks bought the village of Chablis from the black-robed Benedictine monks and soon produced what would become today's most important white wine, CHARDONNAY! So, we swirled, sniffed, and sipped a Chablis Chardonnay by Christian Moreau, Burgundy, 2001, $18. For outlets, phone Wildman at 800-RED-WINE.

Briefly, here are some other modern wines with deep connections to the past, that scored very well in the tasting.

Best Buy of Entire Tasting

Ramon Cardova Rioja, $10, Royal Wine Corp., phone (201) 535-9006.

Best California Wine

Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2002, $50.

And a Sparkling Ending

Lanson Black Label Brut (French) Champagne, $28. If you can't locate it, phone (415) 563-5712.

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created September 2004

Copyright © 2004
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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